BVI Forex License
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a British overseas territory, located in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Consisting of 4 main islands and 32 smaller islands, the country is known as a highly regulated and internationally respected financial services jurisdiction. It’s also gaining recognition as a preferred destination for those looking to enter the forex market by obtaining a forex license governed by an accessible but robust and reputable regulatory framework.
PACKAGE «COMPANY & FOREX LICENSE IN BVI»
- Establish BVI private limited company
- Preparation and drafting of shareholder and officer agreements.
- Preparation and drafting of narrative business plan.
- Preparation and drafting of current financial statements.
- Preparation and drafting of 3 years financial projections.
- Preparation and drafting of personal financial statements for owners.
- Preparation and submission of application with FSC
- Preparation and drafting of responses to FSC
- Identification and engagement of auditor and local compliance officer/MLRO together with local office
- Facilitate opening of bank accounts and payment processors.
- Preparation and drafting of AML/KYC, and related policies and procedures.
- Preparation and drafting of client agreements and disclosures.
- Arrange for clearing and clearing house relationship
Advantages of the BVI Forex License
The BVI’s legal system is based on English common law, providing a familiar and reliable legal framework for businesses and investors. The country has a stable legal and political environment and a prosperous economy driven primarily by its financial services industry, which is thoroughly regulated and therefore well-respected internationally. Businesses can enjoy modern infrastructure, including reliable telecommunications, internet connectivity, transportation, and banking services.
Compared to some other forex-friendly jurisdictions, the BVI offers a relatively straightforward and efficient licensing process. This lowers the barrier to entry for both new and existing forex businesses, making it an accessible option for a wide range of operators. At the same time, the country’s robust regulatory framework helps build trust and credibility among clients and partners from various parts of the world. Thanks to the jurisdiction’s global reputation, operating from the BVI can attract a diverse client base, including clients from Asia, Europe, the Americas, and beyond.
One of the most significant advantages of the BVI forex license is that it opens doors to the favourable BVI’s tax regime, which can significantly boost a company’s profitability and cash flow. There is no Corporate Income Tax on company profits, Capital Gains Tax on the sale of assets or investments, and Withholding Tax on dividends, interest, royalties, or any other payments made to non-residents. Moreover, the BVI doesn’t impose VAT on products and services sold within the jurisdiction. Overall, the country has simplified and streamlined its taxation procedures, making it relatively easy for businesses to meet their tax-related compliance requirements.
The BVI doesn’t have currency exchange controls, which usually involve restrictions or regulations on converting local currency into foreign currency or vice versa. In the absence of such controls, businesses and individuals can freely conduct international transactions without the need for lengthy approvals or paperwork. For this reason, companies operating in the BVI have greater flexibility in managing their finances. They can easily transfer funds between different currencies to optimize cash flow, manage risk, and seize international business opportunities.
Stable legal and political environment and prosperous economy
Simple and efficient licensing process with low entry barriers
No income tax, profit tax, capital gains tax
Lack of currency control and VAT in the country
Forex Regulations in the BVI
The BVI Financial Services Commission (BVI FSC) is the regulatory authority responsible for overseeing financial services in the BVI, including forex licensing, ongoing supervision of license holders, the reduction of financial crime, and the prevention of market abuse. The authority is well-regarded globally for its robust and transparent regulatory framework. Obtaining a BVI forex license signals to clients and partners that a forex company operates in a well-regulated environment, which enhances trust and credibility.
The following legal acts and regulations are applicable to the BVI forex businesses:
- The BVI Financial Services Commission Act of 2001 (FS Act of 2001)
- Securities and Investment Business Act of 2010 (SIBA of 2010)
- Anti-Money Laundering Regulations of 2008 (AML Regulations of 2008)
- Foreign Exchange (Control of Exchange Rate Movements) Regulations of 1974 (FER of 1974)
- Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (CPA of 2010)
- BVI Business Companies Act of 2004
- The BVI Business Companies (Amendment) Act of 2022 (the BC Amendments of 2022)
- The BVI Business Companies (Amendment) Regulations of 2022 (the BC Regulations of 2022)
- The Financial Services (Prudential and Statistical Returns) Regulations of 2008
The FS Act of 2001 establishes the BVI FSC as the regulatory authority responsible for regulating and supervising financial services in the BVI, including forex trading. It sets out the requirements and procedures for the licensing and registration of various financial services providers, including forex brokers, as well as defines the criteria for obtaining and maintaining licenses. The act also addresses issues of confidentiality and information sharing, specifying when and how the BVI FSC can share information with other regulatory authorities and companies, both within and outside the BVI. Importantly, the FS Act of 2001 also establishes the framework for anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulations in the BVI. It empowers the BVI FSC to set AML/CFT rules and guidelines and ensures that financial institutions implement effective AML/CFT measures.
The SIBA of 2010 governs securities and investment business activities in the BVI, including the provision of investment advice and dealing in forex contracts. It sets out the licensing requirements and regulatory framework for forex brokers and investment firms. The act establishes minimum capital requirements for licensable businesses, ensuring that they have sufficient financial resources to conduct their business activities safely. It also mandates that individuals and companies seeking licenses must meet fit and proper criteria, demonstrating their competence, integrity, and financial soundness to engage in securities and investment business activities. The SIBA addresses cross-border activities by licensed businesses and establishes mechanisms for cooperation with foreign regulatory authorities to promote international regulatory consistency.
Types of the BVI Forex Licenses
The BVI FSC offers many categories and subcategories of forex licenses for businesses intending to conduct forex activities in or from within the BVI. Each of them has its own purpose and affordances, and you may choose a BVI forex license depending on the nature of the forex services you intend to offer. If you’re not sure which of the below licenses suits your business goals and scope best, please reach out to our team of lawyers here at Regulated United Europe and we’ll provide a personalized consultation to ensure you start on the right foot.
The non-exhaustive list of the categories of BVI licenses is as follows:
- Category 1: Dealing in Investments: Sub-category A: Dealing as Agent allows its licensees to act as brokers or agents between the buyers and sellers and facilitate transactions on behalf of their clients without taking on a principal position in the trade
- Category 1: Dealing in Investments: Sub-category B: Dealing as Principal is a full forex brokerage license allowing license holders to act as market makers and trade on their own account, i.e. against proprietary capital by buying and selling financial instruments at prices determined by themselves
- Category 2: Arranging Deals in Investments (including the Introducing Broker (IB) license) allows its holders to refer clients to Category 1 licensees and receive commissions or referral fees for generating business; holders of this license don’t engage in direct trading activities but play a role in client acquisition, deal structuring, and marketing
- Category 3: Investment Management license allows for a wide range of investment activities, including managing client portfolios, providing investment advice, and trading on behalf of clients; this flexibility can help tailor the license holder’s services to meet various client needs
- Category 4: Investment Advice is an advisory forex license permitting its licensees to provide advisory services to clients, offering guidance and recommendations on forex trading strategies and investments and it’s suitable for businesses focused on providing analysis and advice rather than executing trades
The BVI FSC usually issues forex licenses initially for one year, however, the duration can vary depending on the type of license. Renewal processes differ based on the type of license but generally, forex license holders are required to apply for license renewal before the expiration date and demonstrate continued compliance with regulatory standards and financial obligations.
British Virgin Islands (BVI)
Requirements for the BVI Forex License Applicants
To apply for a BVI forex license, you first have to establish a company in the BVI, such as a British Virgin Islands Business Company (BVI BC), International Business Company (IBC), Limited Liability Company (LLC), or another suitable corporate structure. The choice of the legal business structure depends on such factors as size, complexity, operational structure, and ownership of the business. If you want to make an informed decision, our team will be pleased to guide you through the process.
Other key requirements for BVI forex license applicants are as follows:
- The initial required capital for a BVI forex business is determined on a case-by-case basis, and it can range from 50,000 USD to 1 mill. USD (approx. 47,000 – 931,000 EUR)
- Initial license fee – from 1,200 USD (approx. 1,100 EUR) to 10,000 USD (approx. 9,300 EUR) depending on the type of license
- Applicants and key personnel involved in the forex business must meet the fit and proper criteria, demonstrating their competence, integrity, and financial soundness
- It’s crucial to establish robust internal AML/CFT policies and procedures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, including due diligence processes for client onboarding
- A robust internal technology infrastructure must be in place, including trading platforms, cybersecurity measures, and disaster recovery plans
- An effective risk management framework, including policies for managing market risks, credit risks, and operational risks
- Compliance with regulatory capital adequacy ratios and the maintenance of the necessary capital buffers as required by the BVI FSC
- Internal systems in place for maintaining proper records and reporting to the authority
- A thorough understanding of and willingness to comply with all relevant BVI financial services laws and regulations, including those specific to forex trading
The following documents are required to apply for a forex license in the BVI:
- A Certificate of Incorporation
- Articles of Association
- A Memorandum of Association
- An official application form provided by the BVI FSC
- A comprehensive business plan outlining the forex business’s objectives, strategies, risk management procedures, and compliance measures
- Proof of adequate professional indemnity insurance and other relevant insurance coverage to ensure client protection and risk mitigation
- CVs of the shareholders, and key personnel involved in the forex business
- Copies of passports of the shareholders, and key personnel involved in the forex business
- Proof of residential address of each shareholder, and key member of staff
- Financial statements and business projections, including profit and loss forecasts, to demonstrate financial stability and viability
- Bank references and proof of sufficient capital
- A detailed description of the technology infrastructure, including trading platforms, cybersecurity measures, and disaster recovery plans
- Documentation of internal AML/CFT procedures and policies, including KYC processes
- Compliance manuals outlining how the forex business will adhere to relevant financial services laws and regulations
- A well-documented risk management framework, detailing how the business will manage market risks, credit risks, and operational risks
- A business continuity plan (BCP) to ensure uninterrupted operations, especially in cases of unforeseen events or disasters
- Proof of paid application fees
- Documentation of the company’s record-keeping and reporting procedures, including how it will maintain records for and submit reports to the BVI FSC
BVI Forex license
|Period for consideration
|Annual fee for supervision
|(6000 USD) 5,600 EUR
|State fee for application
|(1,000 USD) around 940 EUR
|Local staff member
|Required share capital
|various from (100,000-1,000,000 USD)
|Corporate income tax
How to Establish a Forex Company in the BVI
As mentioned earlier, depending on the specifics of your intended forex activities, you can choose from several legal business structures. Many forex entrepreneurs opt for the BVI Business Company (BC) as it offers structural flexibility, ease of formation, and a favorable tax environment. BVI BCs can engage in a wide range of activities, including forex trading, and can be used for full-scale forex brokerages, advisory firms, or other related forex services. Such a company can be incorporated within 2 working days, provided that all the required documents are duly prepared in advance which can take a week or more.
The main requirements for a BVI BC are as follows:
- At least one shareholder
- At least one director (the minimum number may vary depending on the type of forex license)
- A registered office in the BVI
- A registered agent in the BVI who will accept legal and official documents on behalf of your BVI BC
There’s no requirement for BVI BCs to hold the shareholder’s or director’s meetings in the BVI and an Annual General Meeting isn’t required either. Meetings can be conducted through telephone or other electronic methods, and directors and shareholders have the option to cast their votes through proxy. BVI BCs aren’t generally mandated to prepare and submit financial accounts, although they must maintain records that are adequate to demonstrate and clarify the company’s transactions and accurately determine the company’s financial standing.
To open a company in the BVI, you should take the following steps:
- Choose and reserve a unique, compliant, and distinguishable name for your company
- Find a registered agent in the BVI
- Find an office in the BVI
- Prepare all the required documents, including certified translation and notarization
- Pay the necessary incorporation fees and other incurred expenses
- Submit all the required documents to your registered agent who will register your company with the BVI Registry of Corporate Affairs
- Open a corporate bank account to facilitate business transactions and manage finances
- If your forex company plans to hire non-resident employees in the BVI, apply for work permits for them through the BVI Labour Department
- Register with the BVI Social Security Board for the payment of social security contributions
The following documents are usually required to incorporate a forex company in the BVI:
- A Memorandum of Association
- Articles of Association
- Proof of having a registered agent
- An application form, provided by the registered agent
- Proof of registered address in the BVI
- A certificate of your reserved business name
- Copies of passports of all directors, shareholders, and beneficial owners
- Proof of residential addresses of all directors, shareholders, and beneficial owners
- Professional references and/or letters of reference
- Completed due diligence forms provided by the registered agent
- Details of the share capital structure, including the number and classes of shares and their respective par values, if any
- Proof of payment of the government incorporation fee which is 450 – 1,200 USD (approx. 420 – 1,100 EUR) depending on the number of shares
- Consent forms signed by the directors and shareholders, acknowledging their roles and responsibilities within the company
- Power of attorney, if you appoint someone to act as your attorney to complete the incorporation process on your behalf
Best Forex Brokers in British Virgin Islands
How to Apply for the BVI Forex License
In the BVI, the forex license application process is well-structured and streamlined which is why you can obtain a forex license within 3 months, provided that all your documents are duly prepared and your submitted application package is of high quality. If the application is incomplete, the authority can pause the consideration to obtain the necessary information and documents which can naturally hinder the application process. To avoid friction in the process, please consult with our experienced lawyers here at Regulated United Europe . Our expertise allows us to provide efficient and cost-effective solutions that can help you succeed in this lucrative market.
While the exact application procedures may vary depending on the complexity of the business and the license you’re applying for, the main steps of the forex license application process in the BVI are as follows:
- Obtain the official application form from the BVI FSC and complete it thoroughly
- Prepare all the required documents to provide evidence of compliance with the regulatory requirements
- Pay the application fee as specified by the BVI FSC
- Submit the application form along with all the required documentation to the BVI FSC
- Directors, officers, and key personnel involved in the forex business must undergo fit and proper assessments, demonstrating their competence, integrity, and financial soundness
- The BVI FSC has to conduct background checks and due diligence on the company, its directors, and shareholders to ensure compliance with applicable regulations
Ongoing Requirements for the BVI Forex Licensees
Once you obtain a BVI forex license, you are required to adhere to ongoing regulatory requirements to maintain your license and operate your forex business legally and effectively. The BVI FSC supervises BVI forex licensees to ensure that they safeguard the reputation of their own and the jurisdiction, as well as protect their clients. While there are requirements that are specific to different types of forex licenses, you should also take note of those that are common for most licensees.
Firstly, BVI forex licensees are obligated to pay annual license renewal fees ranging from 1,800 USD (approx. 1,700 EUR) to 10,000 USD (approx. 9,300 EUR) depending on the type of license. They’re also required to submit annual reports to the BVI FSC. These reports provide updates on the company’s financial status and operational activities and play a pivotal role in ensuring that the BVI FSC is well-informed about the financial health and operational activities of licensed forex entities. The content and format of these reports vary based on the type of license held by the company.
It’s also crucial to maintain high standards of ethical conduct, safety, and transparency in all business operations. Avoiding any activities that may be deemed unethical or non-compliant with regulatory standards is of paramount importance. Therefore, all licensees should invest in continuous training and education for employees to keep them updated on compliance, AML/CFT procedures, and regulatory changes. This will also eliminate the possibility of being fined or prosecuted for the failure to comply with national and international regulations.
All BVI forex licensees are also obligated to implement and maintain robust cybersecurity measures to protect client data and sensitive information in order to ensure compliance with data protection and privacy regulations. For instance, every forex company is required to have strict access controls that limit access to sensitive data to authorized personnel only. It’s also mandatory to continuously monitor network activity and endpoints to detect and respond to security incidents promptly.
If you wish to start forex trading and obtain a forex license in the BVI, our team here at Regulated United Europe will be delighted to support you in incorporating a company and applying for the license. With dedicated legal advisors, tax experts, and financial accountants at your side, you will find the processes of obtaining a forex license in the BVI easy, frictionless, and transparent. Contact us now to schedule a personalized consultation and set the stage for long-lasting success.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, trading activities, including forex trading, are regulated and require a license in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The BVI Financial Services Commission is the regulatory authority responsible for overseeing financial services in the BVI.
The process of obtaining a forex license in the British Virgin Islands involves the following steps:
- Submitting an application to the BVI Financial Services Commission;
- Meeting regulatory requirements;
- Providing necessary documentation and paying licensing fees;
- Undergoing a due diligence process.
The specific steps and requirements may vary, so it's advisable to consult with legal or financial experts familiar with BVI regulations.
A British Virgin Islands forex license allows its holder to legally engage in forex trading activities within the BVI. It comes with regulatory obligations, including compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) requirements, as well as reporting to the BVI Financial Services Commission.
The time required to obtain a forex license in the British Virgin Islands may vary depending on the complexity of the application and the applicant's readiness to meet regulatory requirements.
Including the stages of processing and due diligence, the consideration period may take 3-6 months.
No. In the British Virgin Islands, it is generally required to have a bank account in a reputable financial institution as part of the licensing process. The bank account serves various purposes, including facilitating financial transactions related to forex trading and meeting regulatory requirements.
Forex licenses in the British Virgin Islands are typically issued for one year. Following this period, a license may be renewed annually by meeting the regulatory and financial requirements.
Some of the core benefits of obtaining a forex license in the British Virgin Islands include:
- Access to international financial markets;
- Credibility for attracting investors and clients;
- Ability to operate legally within a regulated framework.
The BVI also offers favorable tax incentives for licensed forex companies.
Obtaining a forex license in the British Virgin Islands may be challenging due to strict regulatory requirements and the need to demonstrate financial stability, compliance with AML/KYC regulations, and expertise in forex trading.
Engaging legal and financial experts with experience in the process can help navigate these challenges.
Yes, companies in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) may be owned by non-residents. There are no restrictions on foreign ownership in most cases.
The most favorable type of company in the British Virgin Islands depends on your specific business needs and objectives. A common option is establishing a Business Company, which can be customized based on your requirements.
Yes, British Virgin Islands companies can have directors who are not local residents. There is no requirement for directors to be BVI residents.
Are there any measures in place in the British Virgin Islands to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism?
Yes, the British Virgin Islands has anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) regulations in place to prevent such activities. These regulations require businesses - including those with forex licenses - to implement robust AML/KYC procedures and report suspicious transactions to the authorities.
In the British Virgin Islands, a company can have a minimum of one director and one shareholder. It is important to note that both positions may be occupied by the same person or entity.
British Virgin Islands companies with forex licenses may benefit from favorable tax incentives. These incentives can include exemptions from income tax, capital gains tax, and other taxes.
However, the specific tax obligations may vary based on the company's activities and structure. It's important to consult with tax experts for detailed information.
The annual forex license fee in the British Virgin Islands can vary depending on the type of license and other factors. Currently, renewal fees range from 1,800 USD (approx. 1,700 EUR) to 10,000 USD (approx. 9,300 EUR).
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